Sunday, April 18, 2010

Splash! SGD Conference

A rather mixed day, somewhat disheartening but nevertheless some interesting speakers.

I primarily attended to get a feel for the industry body to which I am likely to be affiliated. How professional would they be and what would the benefits of joining be.

An overwhelming number of middle aged women filled the room, never a good sign in my book there were a smattering of chaps but they were in the minority. This only says that more women attended the conference and not that this is the norm in the garden design world, though I suspect it is.

Apart from the technology calamities (and there were many) and the disruption of speakers and running order due to an erupting Icelandic volcano the thing that disturbed me most was hearing the Chairwoman of the SGD ask each speaker if they had openings for 'slaves'. Most looked slightly abashed as they said sure they had room for wannabes.

In an industry that is little valued by the general public, except for the notable celebrity few, it is sad to hear the person chairing the organisation diminish the standing of those entering the profession.

The membership team have high aspirations for new members and those of us mere mortals who deign to demand entry with only a PGDip behind us can look forward to at least 4 years of subs, scrutiny and hoop jumping before being considered worthy of applying for Membership.

Interesting talks especially William Pye's beautiful water sculptures. An interesting day but I suspect attending once will be enough!

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